Frequently Asked Questions About Wi-Fi Surveillance CCTV Camera

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How secure is cloud storage?

Cloud storage causes stress for some customers – after all, the surveillance camera in and around the house records private data. The encryption methods are generally at a very high level. So, it can 100 percent eliminate the risk of the third parties’ recordings tapping. They are comparable to online banking standards.

In order to continue to believe that you are on the safe side, make sure that you store your data on servers Worldwide or at least in the EU. Alternatively, you can of course also completely opt-out of cloud storage. Then we recommend a micro-SD card or a NAS server.

How many recordings can an SD card hold?

In addition to cloud storage, an SD card is the easiest way to save surveillance recordings. You can decide in which quality your videos it should record. The higher the bit rate, the clearer the picture – and the more storage space the video uses. Accordingly, the possible recording time depends on the selected bit rate, which you can set either in the app or in the web interface.

The rule of thumb for the average recording time is:

Recording time = SD card storage capacity / bit rate

Example: Recording time for different SD card sizes and bit rates

Max. Bit-Rate 16 GB- Card 32 GB Card 64 GB- Card
1.024 37.3 hours 74.6 hours 149.1 hours
1.536 24.9 hours 49.7 hours 99.4 hours

With many WLAN and surveillance cameras there is the option of hosting videos and images on a so-called FTP server. An FTP server is an Internet-based server on which you can store data. FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol”, so it is a protocol with which you make the connection. Use a free or paid FTP program for access.

Since surveillance cameras generate a relatively large amount of data traffic, they are often excluded from free offers. The fee-based FTP programs start at around three euros a month.

What is a NAS server?

Simply put, a NAS server is a computer with multiple hard drives that allows you to save pictures and videos on your home network. It is connected to the router or another distributor and anyone who is authorized can then access for the network. In this way, not only surveillance videos but also films and music can be shared with the family or the club.

What is a PIR sensor?

Manufacturers use PIR sensors in modern surveillance cameras to identify people. Manufacturers have made these  passive infrared motion detectors (PIR) with lithium tantalate, which detect the movement of people and trigger electrical, optical or acoustic signals. To ensure reliable motion detection, most manufacturers of surveillance cameras rely on a combination of PIR sensors and software-based image comparison.

How do I connect a CCTV camera to my smart home system?

WLAN surveillance CCTV cameras can only interact with your smart home system if their software is designed for it. So, you cannot connect simply every camera to every system. Smart home providers often have their own surveillance cameras in their range, which can then be learned using the manufacturer’s smart home app.

In addition, there are open smart home systems, such as Magenta Smart Home or Home, which integrate many third-party products. A look at the respective compatibility list of the manufacturer helps to find out which surveillance camera is suitable.

If the desired surveillance camera is not compatible with a smart home system, there is still the option of using comprehensive smart home platforms. These are programs that interconnect different apps in intelligent if-then functions. Examples are Amazon Alexa, Apple Home Kit, IFTTT or iHaus App. This means that systems that are actually incompatible can communicate with one another.

Does it make sense to connect the WLAN surveillance camera to the smart home?

The connection of the surveillance camera with a smart home system opens up various possibilities. Here are some example scenarios:

  • The door contact reports unauthorized access> the surveillance camera starts recording
  • The surveillance camera starts recording> the interior lighting is switched on
  • Voice command to Amazon Alexa> the camera image is transmitted to the Amazon Echo or the television
  • The smart fire alarm sounds the alarm> see what’s going on via the live stream while on the move

Which legal regulations do I have to observe when using a surveillance camera?

Particularly when you install surveillance cameras outdoors, you must observe a few things in order not to violate the privacy of others.

On the one hand, the camera is only allowed to capture your own property. If the monitoring angle is too large, certain zones can be “excluded” for many models.

If you catch strangers or car license plates, you must make these unrecognizable if you continue to use the video.

In general, you should rely on reliable surveillance systems with a high level of encryption. This protects your privacy – and that of your neighbors too.

Does it make sense to use a WiFi security camera as a baby monitor?

The attraction is of course not only to hear the baby screaming, but also to take a look at the cot at any time via the app. In fact, there are many “cute” WiFi surveillance cameras that you can use as baby monitors with two-way audio.

You should keep in mind that a push message on the smartphone can overheard faster than the screaming that a normal baby monitor perceives immediately. We recommend a WLAN surveillance camera as an additional baby monitor, for example when you are out and about and want to check how the little one is doing with the babysitter.

Netgear Arlo has a special baby monitor in its range that also controls the humidity and plays music. A simpler and cheaper alternative is the TODAYI WIFI camera.

 A WiFi surveillance camera can also be useful for monitoring pets.

Photo: Logitech

Are mini surveillance cameras worth it?

Surveillance cameras act as a deterrent and therefore do not necessarily have to be tiny. Nevertheless, there are applications in which one would like to proceed a little more secretly. This is where mini security cameras can be a great option. However, we do not recommend the tiny versions as a permanent security system. The thumb-sized cameras are very sensitive in comparison and often only have a short battery life without a power connection.

Conclusion: which surveillance camera in the test is the best for me?

The test overview of the best surveillance CCTV camera shows that the models presented can be convinced with a large performance package. Some manufacturers associates monthly costs with functions such as cloud storage and activity zones are , but they are usually under ten euros – still a reasonable price for a strong surveillance system.

Which surveillance camera is right for you ultimately depends on your priorities, the purpose and location? To make the decision easier, here are the highlights of the test winners at a glance:

Test votes and experience reports on the Logitech Circle View

The video quality of the Logitech Circle View you can rate as very decent. The viewing angle is pleasantly large at 180 degrees and with its resolution of 1080p, the camera also exploits the current maximum of Home Kit video. “

The camera does a really good job in others too, it can be reached quickly via the home app, the picture is there quickly without having to reload, the intercom system works great and so far, I haven’t noticed any problems. Certainly, one could criticize the resolution here again, because if you zoom in strongly, you will quickly come across a pixelated picture, for better or worse. But since faces are clearly recognizable, this is the decisive criterion for me. “

The videos looked okay on the iPhone, but there was pixelated mash on the large iPad screen or on the Mac. The pictures weren’t always properly lit, so that dark areas sometimes drown. In the evening it wasn’t better: Despite the night vision function, the films looked badly washed out. People were recognizable, faces sometimes only difficult.

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